Pests such as ants and roaches can drive a person mad. Almost everyone has dealt with them at one time or another. An inviting environment for a pest is usually a dirty one, but what a pest considers dirty is really not that dirty, unless you really look. Under furniture, cracks in the kitchen between the wall and floor, anywhere tiny food particles can be brushed into and not seen. Read more
Perhaps this goes to show that there will always be snake oil vendors. For years, we’ve been sold on the idea that Ozone generators are a good thing, that they promote and create healthy air within our homes, remove odors, etc. The manufacturers of ozone generators even go so far as to point out that it’s just as nature does with lightning strikes and thunderstorms. This notion resonated with us. After all, isn’t there a hole in the ozone layer? So more ozone is a good thing… right? Up in the stratosphere, protecting our planet, it is. Down here where we breathe, though, it’s actually flat out dangerous.
That last statement bears repeating: Ozone generators in our homes are dangerous. Ozone is, chemically speaking, O3 — three oxygen atoms bound together. It’s made by electricity passing through the air. So what’s wrong with that? Our bodies aremade to breathe O2, not O3. O3 (Ozone) can make our throats sore and damage our lungs. The same properities of ozone which can cause certain smells, bacteria and mold to be affected, those same properties also affect tissues within our bodies, and not in a good way.
There’s a long list of data to support what’s being presented here. Research performed by both the U.S. and Canadian governments, as well as others, all agrees with this. Ozone up there is a good idea. Down here, it’s a bad thing. Even in a best case scenario, even “safe” levels of ozone will to little or nothing to provide helpful benefits. Once the concentration is high enough to be killing off harmful or offensive aspects, it has become dangerous to our health. There is no practical effective way to use an Ozone generator safely in your home.
Ion generators, preferably those which generate both positive and negative ions, do have a desireable effect, in that they help to knock down airborn particulates. How much so? There are too many variables to answer that, but the best bet is still to use air filters to remove allergens, to filter out dirt and dust particles. It would seem that HEPA filters are still the best means of cleaning the air that we breathe.
Why are the manufacturers allowed to make the claims if they’re not true? Apparently the government is not empowerede to regulate Ozone generators. Or perhaps someone got a major payoff. But if you check a bit online, you’ll find the EPA’s statement on the subject. (Or you could follow the link we just provided here.)
If you’ve bought yourself some snake oil recently, you may want to return it. If you cannot, it’s best to dismantle or crush it before disposing of it. Normally we’d not be keen on adding such things to a landfill, but there are far too many people who remain unaware of the dangers of this. Donating it to Goodwill or some similar organization just spreads the snake oil to some other unsuspecting person. When disposing of an ozone generator, it’s best to follow the Golden Rule and make certain that no one else ever uses the thing again.
What can we do about the hole in the ozone? Most dangerous aerosol sprays are gone, and the dangerous freon is unlawful to discharge intentionally. Stop using combustion engines. That’s the single best thing we can do for ourselves and our planet.
At first glance, it seemed like asthma inhalers were going Green by changing out the CHC propulsion for the live-saving drug to a more atmosphere-friendly prompulsion agent. As it turns out, though, the biggest green in the whole thing is the dollars they’re now milking asthma sufferers and insurance companies for. The new propellant isn’t going to make that big of a difference in the environment, but does make the inhaler more prone to clogging.
The drug, called Albuterol helps asthma sufferers from suffering an attack which could be deadly. The medicine needs a propellant to work and, as of January 1, 2009, they’re going to be using a “more eco-friendly” chemical, HFA. The announcement was initially made because doctors wanted patients to expect a different taste and feel. University Health System physician Fred Campbell claims there is little resistance to the change, but it seems he’s not really paying attention.
The kicker? The new propellant raises the price from $5-10 to anywhere between $30-$60 each. That’s a pretty massive increase as it is. Now apply that to 20 million and you can see just how in the green the manufacturers are about to become. We’re all for things that are Going Green — but that Green is supposed to be going into the environment, not a drug company’s pockets.
All across the country, environmentally friendly folk are looking for ways to be conscientious this holiday season. Being a responsible Green citizen isn’t really difficult, and it may actually save you money while reducing our carbon footprint. Here are a few suggestions. Got others? Please, add them with a comment!
#1 Buy Local. When we’re searching for gifts, we’re usually after something especially for that person. Sure, an Asian-made electronic game system or component may seem like the safe bet, but putting just a little extra time and thought into the process of choosing a gift may find you making a big difference to the environment. When possible, buy things that are made locally, or don’t have to be shipped very far. This reduces the carbon footprint, the amount of poisonous carbon dioxide we put into the air. Buying locally also supports our home area financially. Both are great reasons to buy local.
#2 That gift-wrapping paper can be recycled — right there at home! Rather than stuffing it all into plastic garbage bags and hauling it to the trash, think of ways to reuse it. Substitute wrapping paper for newspaper or peanuts when you’re packing goods to be shipped. Some papers may be able to be used as compost or mulch for your garden. Lining drawers with the larger pieces. Of course, it never hurts to buy paper that comes from recycled sources either. You might even try using left-over fabric as a wrapping material. Christmas cards can be made into ornaments
#3 Do your shopping and browsing around online. It costs less than driving and opening and closing doors, and is a lot easier and less stressful, too! During the holidays, even buying online can be more fuel-efficient, as the carriers’ drivers are already out delivering nearby you. If you DO go to the stores to shop, remember to bring your own bags with you. Reusing is recycling, too!
#4 If you must have a tree, buy a real, pesticide and paint free one — or better yet, buy a live tree and move it outdoors when the season is over. The artificial trees are made of plastics, and that’s one of those petroleum products that we just can’t afford to continue to endorse.
#5 If there’s someone in your world who hasn’t yet gone to digital cameras, cut down on the use of papers and toxic chemicals by getting them a digital camera. At the very least, use your digital camera, and email pictures (or links to the album) to everyone later. While we’re at it, how about giving gifts that encourage others to go Green as well?
With just a little thought, your holidays can be merry and Green – and isn’t that a lot better than just bright? Spread the word while you spread the cheer! Help your friends and family with their Going Green for the holidays!
Got other suggestions? Leave us a comment; Post ‘em here!
Kyocera is one of the top suppliers of solar energy products around the world. One of the greatest appeals of Kyocera Solar is their vertical integration. They know solar intimately, and are involved in the development, manufacture, installation and upkeep of solar panels and products.
Kyocera’s solar division has its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, and has regional sales offices around the Americas and Australia.
Customers of Kyocera around the world have improved their lives because of the solar electricity provided by the electric systems Kyocera produces. The panels are often installed in third world countries where energy production is limited. Families often light their homes, use a telephone, or experience television for the first time after a solar energy system is installed. Sometimes these systems allow a family or a village to drink clean water for the first time.
The advantage of these panels is that they can be installed anywhere, meaning they are not tied to the traditional electric grid. This opens up incredible possibilities for providing electricity to remote and underserved areas.
Kyocera Solar has two major divisions; one that works with industrial customers and one that works with Kyocera Solar’s fleet of authorized distributors and dealers around the world. These dealers create relationships and solve energy problems for individual homeowners.
Kyocera Solar is part of the Kyocera Corporation with headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. Read more
Lighting up your home is an area where a very large difference can be made when it comes to conserving energy. There are a few extremely simple technological advances which offer us a whole host of new options for making our lighting efforts much more energy efficient. Energy-efficient lighting is much more cost effective, so by using energy-efficient lighting you will be saving money in energy costs as well as protecting the environment by utilizing renewable sources of energy. Many of these technological advances have been around for many years, but so many people have not become aware of them that they are not being used to their full potential yet. Read more